Saturday, August 24, 1985

Huey Lewis & the News "The Power of Love" hit #1

The Power of Love

Huey Lewis & the News

Writer(s): Johnny Colla, Chris Hayes, Huey Lewis (see lyrics here)

First Charted: June 28, 1985

Peak: 13 US, 13 BA, 12 CB 13 GR, 13 RR, 6 AC, 12 AR, 9 UK, 11 CN, 12 5 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 26.39 video, 372.31 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Hugh Anthony Cregg III (later known as Huey Lewis) was born in New York City in 1950, but grew up in the San Francisco bay area. In 1971, he joined the band Clover. After they disbanded in 1978, he formed Huey Lewis & the News. They released a self-titled album in 1980 which went nowhere, but their second album, 1982’s Picture This, featured the top-ten hit, “Do You Believe in Love?”

The band exploded with their next album, 1983’s Sports. “Huey Lewis’ rise was perfectly timed to the beginning of MTV, a place where he carved out a persona as a handsome, self-effacing goofball everyman” SG amidst “the colorful, flamboyance of the British new-romatic artists.” MM The band “looked like working-class guys who spent their Sundays together watching football on TV.” MM The multi-platinum, #1 album sent four top-ten singles up the charts and made Lewis “one of the biggest stars in rock ‘n’ roll.” SG

Lewis & Co. were tapped to write the theme song for Back to the Future, which became the biggest movie of 1985. It set the band up for “an unstoppable smash,” SG “The Power of Love.” “It’s got the sleek pulse of mid-’80s pop” SG and “has hooks on hooks on hooks, with all the keyboard stabs and shiny-bluesy riffs in the exact right places.” SG Lewis “wails out nonsensical…philosophical nuggets about how love is tougher than diamonds, rich like cream, and stronger and harder than a bad girl’s dream” SG while “the rest of the band gets in some nice Billy Joel-style fake doo-wop harmonies on the bridge.” SG

It was one of two songs the group wrote for the movie. “Back in Time” actually fit the plot of the movie, but “The Power of Love” had nothing to do with the film. It showed up early in the film as star Michael J. Fox (Marty) skateboards out the door of his friend Doc Brown’s house. It shows up again when Marty and his band audition to play for the high school dance with a crude version of the song (the actual early demo) and one of the judges – played by Lewis – proclaims, “I’m afraid you’re just too darn loud.”

The song was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.


First posted 8/6/2023.

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